The following books are some of many we would recommend for reading before travelling to the Dolomites. Some are what we would call ‘background’ reading, some are specific to the trip you will be doing, and all are excellent preparation and fun to read, counting the days before your holiday begins…
|Walking in the Dolomites
Author: Gillian Price, Publisher: Cicerone
This guide leads you through breathtaking alpine scenery flanked by well-graded paths and excellent mountain refuges that verge on hotels, which are easily accessible with the excellent network of public transport from major towns and travel hubs, such as Venice, Verona, Munich and Innsbruck.Any one of these fabulous multi-day walks make for a memorable holiday in Italy’s breathtaking Dolomite mountains.
|Trekking in the Dolomites, Alta Via 1 & 2
Author: Gillian Price, Publisher: Cicerone
Guide to walking Alta Via 1 and Alta Via 2, the finest long-distance treks through the Italian Dolomites, in southern Europe. Alta Via 1 is 120km, taking 10 days from Lago di Braies to Belluno. Alta Via 2 (150km) is higher, from Bressanone to Feltre, taking over 2 weeks. The tougher Alte Vie 3-6 described in outline.
|Walking in Italy
Author: Sandra Bardwell, Publisher: Lonely Planet
Scale the spectacular Dolomites, peer into brooding volcanoes, explore medieval villages or saunter along sparkling coastlines – this guide walks you through Italy’s wealth of natural beauty, history and culture. Detailed descriptions of 55 walks, from easy day strolls to multi-day adventures.
|The Man in the Ice
Author: Konrad Spindler, Publisher: Harmony Books
In 1991, a couple from Germany made a sensational discovery-a mummified, well-preserved body, half emerged from a glacier, which turned out to be the corpse of a 5300-year-old Neolithic man, fully equipped with ax, flint dagger, bow and arrows, wooden stave and belt-pouch. Dubbed “the Iceman,” he had charcoal tattoos on his legs and feet and a traveling medicine kit-pieces of birch fungus known to contain a natural antibiotic substance highly active against deadly bacteria. In an astonishing, exhaustively detailed report (with 32 color photos), which reads like a forensic mystery, Spindler, the Austrian archeologist who led the investigation, reconstructs efforts to identify this prehistoric hunter’s native village, culture and cause of death.
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|Killing Dragons: The Conquest of the Alps
Author: Fergus Fleming, Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
In a riveting narrative of daredevils and eccentrics, Fergus Fleming gives us the breathtaking story of some of history’s greatest explorers as they conquer the soaring peaks of the Alps. Fleming recounts the incredible exploits of the men whose centuries-old fear of the mountain range turned quickly to curiosity, then to obsession, as they explored Europe’s frozen wilderness. In the late eighteenth century French and Swiss scientists became interested in the Alps as a research destination, but in the 1850s the focus changed: the icy mountains now offered an all-out competition for British climbers who wanted to conquer ever higher and more impossible heights, and explorers fought each other on the peaks and in the press, entertaining a vast public smitten with their bravery, delighted by their personal animosities, and horrified by the disasters that befell them. “
|Scrambles amongst the Alps
Author: Edward Whymper, Publisher: National Geographic
When he first saw the Alps in 1860, Edward Whymper was a 20-year-old English wood engraver whose dream was to become an arctic explorer. Ambitious and hungry for adventure, he fell in love with the challenge the Alps presented and set out to conquer them peak by peak. Whymper made quick work of the challenge, racking up dozens of first ascents and acquiring a reputation as one of the best in the nascent field of mountaineering. But on the Matterhorn, considered to be mountaineering’s Holy Grail at the time, Whymper met with failure again and again. On his eighth attempted ascent he finally succeeded, becoming the first man to reach its magnificent peak. The victory came at a heavy cost, however, as Whymper watched four of his companions fall to their deaths on the descent. It was a tragedy that would cast a shadow over the remainder of his life.
|The Hidden Life of Tyrol
Author: Martha C. Ward,Publisher: Waveland Press Inc.
Split between the modern nations of Austria and Italy, the “Holy Land of Tirol” sits in the heart of the spectacular Alps, astride the mountain passes that link the edges of Europe. Tirol has some of the most accessible and integrated social traditions in the world. But the deeper meanings of life in the region remain hidden. Here, then, is an anthropological guidebook. The goal is to make sense of and explain how the history, geography, politics and the rootedness of community life fit together. The conventional categories of an ethnography are all here: religion, subsistence, marriage, land tenure, ethnicity, agro-pastoralism, folklore, and inheritance. But the viewpoint is unconventional: the anthropologist is a fellow-traveler, taking readers on a tour in imagination to a region often visited but rarely understood or studied.
|Alpine Flowers: Of Britain and Europe
Author: Christopher Grey-Wilson, Publisher: Collins Pocket Guide
The only portable guide to the flowers found in the mountainous regions of Britain and Europe, including the Czech and Slovak Republics, Hungary, Poland, Romania, the former Yugoslavian states, Iceland and north-west Spain – Every species described in detail with the major characteristics highlighted for easy identification – The colour illustrations, painted from live or fresh specimens, show the full beauty of these exquisite plants